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The Confessions Tour (CD/DVD) – Review

With ticket prices exceeding $300, this DVD and CD collection is likely the closest many mere mortals will get to seeing Madonna in concert. With moments that run the gamut from silly to offensive to brilliant, The Confessions Tour is an accurate representation of the myriad contradictions that add up to Madonna the artist circa 2006. This tour is not among her masterworks, but Madonna continues to always be well worth watching.

Stick With the Show

The equine fever dream of ponyboys in bondage that kicks off The Confessions Tour is likely to be offensive and off-putting to a number of viewers, but stick with the show. Sprinkling classic tunes among songs from her most recent studio effort Confessions on a Dance Floor, Madonna keeps the party moving and doesn’t stick too long with any single theme. Moving effortlessly from the aura of nightclub decked out with gymnastics equipment on “Jump” to Saturday Night Fever-style disco for “Music Inferno,” Madonna delivers a consistently eye and ear filling spectacle.

Outstanding Songs, Staging, and Choreography Always Equal Brilliance

The highest points of The Confessions Tour prove that a combination of great songs, riveting staging, and accomplished choreography always amount to a brilliant concert experience. Midway through the show, after the salute that is “I Love New York,” Madonna unleashes a stripped down, rocking version of “Ray of Light” that demonstrates little of the spectacle is necessary when the basics are intact. The mash-up of “Music” and “Disco Inferno” that results in “Music Inferno” is a joy to watch even with the silliness of white-suited disco moves.

Top Songs from ‘The Confessions Tour’

Live to Tell
Forbidden Love
Ray of Light
Music Inferno

The Uncensored Complete Picture

Almost all of what is here made up NBC’s Confessions Tour television special, but there was an important part missing. Due to her use of crucifixion imagery, Madonna’s performance of “Live to Tell” raised eyebrows and caused controversy around the world. NBC elected to leave the song out of their broadcast. Finally, this DVD/CD collection brings to home viewers what was left out, and it is one of the most powerful performances in the show. To appropriately make the sobering message Madonna is delivering, it seems almost impossible to leave the crucifixion imagery out.

The collection includes additional behind-the-scenes footage and a CD for listening without the video, but it is the concert itself that is the star. Whether Madonna is one of your favorite pop artists or not, The Confessions Tour provides abundant evidence that she remains tremendously relevant from an artistic point of view. As with any aesthetically challenging project, portions may fall flat, but the high points are tremendous.